JohnLocke2342 posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 7 months ago

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales


Directed by: Espen Sandberg
Written by: Jeff Nathanson
Cast: Johnny Depp, Kaya Scodelario, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush
Studio: Walt Disney
Genre: Action, Adventure
Official Site:
Plot: There's ANOTHER Pirates movie?


So this weekend I tried to finally sit down and get through the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean movie for the third time. I tried twice before and fell asleep both times due to the staleness of what was happening on screen and guess what? I fell asleep again. It took me three viewing blocks to finally finish the entire thing and boring doesn't even begin to sum it up. This was movie ambien.

See the Pirates franchise is a weird one in the sense that each sequel seemed to be trying to outdo the first movie without realizing what made that first story actually work.

A. It was simple.
B. It moved quickly.
C. It kept Captain Jack Sparrow as a supporting character to the core plot.

C seems to be the most egregious failure of the three movies that followed. They couldn't help but dip into that sweet, sweet Jack Sparrow money and whore him out as the lead in three subsequent features. The 4th being the absolute worst example of this. His character works best in spite of the plot not revolving around it - that's the whole point of Jack Sparrow! In the original he's the Han Solo to our Will Turner's Luke Skywalker. The rogue with a moral compass buried at the center of his cold heart that turns itself on when our heroes need him most. He's very much after things for himself and is one part of a larger story. In the sequels HE IS the story. And even worse than that they devalue his character to little more than a walking mascot of himself. "He's quirky! He runs funny! He yells! He's drunk!" and that's it. There's nothing else underneath his character anymore and that 3-steps-ahead-of-you pirate from the original has been reduced to nothing more than merchandise porn.

So back to part 4 - after finishing stranger tides it was very evident to me that this franchise was dead in the water and didn't need to continue. Then of course news breaks that there's a fifth in the works. It'll tie more into the trilogy, bring back familiar faces and sort of act as a "soft reboot" of the series that's oh so popular these days. I had no desire to see it after slogging through the last one. My wife made me go last night. And... I actually enjoyed it? Yeah.. I liked it a bunch!

For my money this is the best overall Pirates movie since the original - which isn't saying all that much but needs to be said. The story goes back to simpler times when everyone was chasing after the same MacGuffin. There aren't 47 double crosses, 15 side stories and scenes that drag out into eternity. The movie is 35 minutes SHORTER than at world's end which felt like it literally would never end. Bardem hams it up along the lines of the most fun villains in the series like Barbossa and Davey Jones and there's a few set pieces here that are on par with some of the stuff like the wheel fight. What's best is that they take Jack Sparrow and once again make him a service to the plot rather than the vehicle which drives it and the movie works because of that. Will Turner's son steps into the role of Will Turner which is hilariously uninspired but when your franchise is dead in the water it's time to go back to what originally worked.
But really why this movie works the way that it does is because

Look, this flick isn't gonna set the world on fire and they still neutered Jack Sparrow to an even more cartoonish bumbling, drunk mess but in such a depleted blockbuster season this was a fun ride. It works as the final chapter in a very odd 5 movie franchise and if this is indeed it then it works as a nice bookend to the series. If you're a fan of the original and some parts of its sequels I think this is one you might be pleasantly surprised with when you inevitably red box it 3 months from now.

Also for a movie that was supposed to be "the final adventure" there's a post credits scene that very much shows there's AT LEAST one more sequel on the way.

Other reviews of this film: Moviefreak2010 (10/10) , TreyTheMovieMan (7/10) > Display all
Frosty_86 at 06:24 PM May 31

I think I may give this one a shot when it comes to Netflix. You address some issues I had with the sequels. One of the things I hated about two and three is that Will and Elizabeth go on about how they can't trust Jack yet Will was willing to risk everything to save Jack. That never made much sense to me. The double-crossings always hurt my head, it seemed it further bloated movies that were already quite large. The first movie which is one of my absolute favorites, it had a simple adventure plot line in the vein of Indiana Jones. The sequels had storylines that were loaded with too many subplots and got off on too many tangents. I also hated that the sequels (especially two and three) got so damn grim. It really took the fun factor away in some parts.

JohnLocke2342 at 07:38 PM May 31

^ I think you might enjoy this with a rental then. It's far less grim and more honest and open about the fact that it's a fun blockbuster.

Moviefreak2010 at 10:49 AM Jun 12

great movie

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